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Holy Family

Christian in secret.

Marius Victorinus, an illustrious Roman orator, had become a Christian inwardly, but since he was highly esteemed among the pagans, he did not dare to confess publicly that he was a follower of the Crucified One. One day he said to St. Simplicus: “I am a Christian, but only in secret.” The Saint replied, “As long as you do not profess your faith, and as long as you do not come to church, you are not a Christian. – But do the walls of a building make a Christian? – No, but Christ said, ‘Whoever is ashamed of Me and My teaching before men, the Son of Man will deny him when He appears in His glory.’” (S. Luke 9:26) Victorinus read these passages in the Gospel again, meditated on them seriously, and, stripping himself of all human respect, went to attend the assemblies of the Christians.

One is not a Christian if one does not profess his religion.

Rudolf of Habsburg and the scepter.

In 1273 Count Rudolf of Habsburg was crowned emperor in Aachen by the archbishop of Cologne, Engelbert, in the presence of the electors. The archbishop anointed him with the holy chrism on his head, chest and shoulders, then the electors girded him with the sword, dressed him with the imperial mantle, and the archbishop placed the crown on his forehead. After this ceremony the emperor was to give the electors the investiture of their fiefs, touching them with his scepter: but the scepter had been misplaced, and the emperor took the crucifix from the altar to use it as a scepter. “Here, he said, is the sign of Him who shed His blood for us, the sign of Him who by saving the world is the source of peace and right. This is the scepter which I will use against my enemies and the enemies of the empire.” This solemn oath, which at the same time contained a courageous profession of faith, greatly increased the respect of the people and of the great vassals for the emperor, and God on His part blessed the enterprises of a reign whose beginnings had been placed under the protection of the Cross.

Jesus Christ also asks of us that we profess our faith. “Whoever, He says, acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in Heaven; but whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My heavenly Father.”

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